11 Best Tamarind Paste Substitutes

Tamarind paste is a mainstay ingredient in Southeast Asian cooking. It adds a tart yet sweet kick that is unmatched by anything else. If you’re a fan of tamarind paste, you’ll be happy to know that many alternatives are available.

When you’re out of tamarind paste or can’t find it at the local store, you can use some great alternatives to substitute it! 

In this guide, we’ll give you the best tamarind paste substitutes, so keep reading to learn more about the best options.

Best Tamarind Paste Substitutes

11 Best Tamarind Paste Substitutes

Tamarind paste is an essential ingredient for authentic Indian and other Asian cuisines. You can use it in many recipes, but if you don’t have it, you can use one of these “11 best tamarind paste substitutes”.

1. Pomegranate molasses

Pomegranate molasses is made from the juice of pomegranate seeds and can be used as an excellent substitute for tamarind paste.

Pomegranate molasses is a thick, syrupy liquid used in Middle Eastern, Indian and Mediterranean cuisines. 

It has a sweet-sour taste with hints of grapefruit and orange, making it perfect for many recipes, including chutney or casseroles.

2. Lime Juice + Brown Sugar

Lime juice and brown sugar are great substitutes for tamarind paste. It’s easy to make, too!

All you need to do is add equal parts lime juice and brown sugar to your dish, mix well, then cook it. 

The acid from the lime juice allows the brown sugar to dissolve into liquid form, so there’s no need for added water or anything else like that.

3. Worcestershire Sauce

Worcestershire sauce is one of the world’s most common and best-known sauces. It is another excellent alternative to tamarind paste. This sauce is made with vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, and spices.

If you like the taste of tamarind paste, you might want to try using this instead. It’s famous for adding to cocktails and marinades as well as sauces.

Worcestershire sauce is a common ingredient in many dishes, so finding a suitable substitute is essential if you follow a specific diet.

You can use fish sauce, soy sauce, and tamarind paste as some common substitutes for Worcestershire sauce.

4. Rice Vinegar + Brown Sugar

A delicious alternative to tamarind paste is a mixture of 1/2 cup brown sugar and 1 cup rice vinegar.

Mix these ingredients, heat them until the sugar dissolves, and cool the liquid.

The result is a sweet-and-sour sauce that can be used as a substitute for tamarind paste in many dishes.

5. Spiced-up Ketchup

Ketchup is a common ingredient in many recipes and is used as a condiment. It’s made from tomatoes and other ingredients, including vinegar, onion powder, and sugar.

Its main ingredients are tomatoes, vinegar, salt, onion powder, and spices. Ketchup can be sweet or spicy depending on your recipe (some add mustard or chili peppers).

The sweetness or spiciness depends on how much sugar you add to your tomato purée—the more sugar you add, the sweeter it will be.

6. Marmalade

Marmalade is a thick, sweet paste made of citrus fruit. Marmalade can be an excellent substitute for tamarind paste in your cooking or baking projects.

It has a similar consistency and flavor to tamarind, making it an appropriate alternative when you don’t have access to tamarind at the grocery store.

7. Amchur Powder

Amchur powder is another excellent alternative to tamarind paste. Amchur powder is a dried powder made from unripe green mangoes.

It is used to add a tangy flavor to Indian dishes. Amchur powder is used in Indian cuisine to add a tangy taste to dishes.

Amchur is a sour spice that is often used in Indian dishes. It can be used as a marinade or a seasoning.

It’s a great alternative to tamarind paste because it has a similar flavor and can be used similarly.

8. Mango Chutney

Mango chutney is an excellent substitute for tamarind paste. This condiment contains mangoes, vinegar, salt, and chili powder or paprika.

The ingredients are simmered together until they’re soft enough to blend, then bottled and stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

Mango chutney accompanies curries and other spicy dishes, but it’s also deliciously served alongside grilled meats or cheese on crackers!

9. Dried Fruits and Lemon Juice

To substitute tamarind paste, you can use dried fruits like dates or raisins. This is a good source of energy and is also rich in vitamins.

You can also use lemon juice as a substitute for tamarind paste because lemons are high in vitamin C.

These two ingredients are an excellent alternative to tamarind paste but aren’t as sour. Dried mango is a great choice. You can use the dried fruit or juice it yourself.

10. Tamarind Pulp

Tamarind pulp is one of the best alternatives to tamarind paste. It has a sour flavor and a thick consistency.

It’s used in various dishes and can be used in chutneys, curries, or even desserts.

Tamarind pulp is a common ingredient in Indian and Asian cooking. It’s made from the fruit of the tamarind tree, which grows throughout tropical areas of Asia and Africa.

Tamarind pulp is used in sauces, chutneys, and curries, as well as in some cocktails.

11. Dried Fruits and Lemon Juice

If you’re looking for a healthy alternative to tamarind paste, consider dried fruits.

Dried fruits are high in fiber and antioxidants, which may help lower cholesterol and the risk of heart disease.

Dried fruits are also a great source of vitamin C, iron, and other essential minerals. Just look at this list:

Best Tamarind Paste Substitutes – FAQs

What Flavor Is Similar to Tamarind?

The tamarind flavor is similar to dates or raisins, but it’s much more acidic. Tamarind paste — which you can find at many Asian or Indian grocery stores — is made from dried tamarind pulp cooked with sugar and water.

Tamarind is a sweet and sour fruit. It’s the main ingredient in many Indian curries, but it’s also used to make chutneys, drinks, and sweets.

Can You Use Ketchup Instead of Tamarind Paste?

If you want to replace tamarind paste with ketchup, you can try it. However, the taste will be different. It will not be as sour and sweet.

Tamarind paste has a strong flavor that makes it suitable for many dishes. Ketchup is slightly sweeter and less tart than tamarind paste.

Ketchup is an option if you are looking for a substitute that you can use in recipes that call for tamarind paste.

Can I Use Tamarind Powder Instead of Paste?

Yes, you can use tamarind powder instead of paste in recipes. Tamarind powder is made from the pulp and seeds of the tamarind fruit. It’s less sweet than paste and much easier to find at the grocery store.

When substituting tamarind powder for paste in recipes, you’ll need to adjust the amount of liquid used to balance the flavor. If your recipe calls for it, you might also need to add more sugar.


I hope that this post, “11 best tamarind paste substitutes,” will help you to find the best alternative to the tamarind paste.

While I wish we could say that any of the above substitutes would work perfectly every time, it’s important to remember that cooking is as much an art as a science.

The best thing you can do is try each option out a few times and see which ones work best for you.

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